Anti-Sweatshop Advisory Committee Meeting
January 12, 2005
1. Wage Disclosure: Our efforts to include a requirement to disclose average wages paid to workers in the licensee code of conduct are still stalled. We forwarded a request to President Herbert last spring to ask him to consider adding this language, but we have not heard back. Committee chair Dick McKaig said he had recently reminded the President and expects to hear back soon.
2. BJ&B Dominican Republic: This factory produces some IU licensed apparel for the Yupoong company, and it still has not complied with WRC's demands to redress worker grievances, mainly unfair treatment of unionized workers as compared with non-union workers. We received an update from the WRC today, but were told another update would be forthcoming soon. If the new update indicates no further progress on the part of BJ&B, or we receive no update by our next meeting, we will send letters to our licensees who use Yupoong to ask that they cease contracting with Yupoong.
3. Multi-Fiber Agreement and effects of the Tsunamis: Southeast and South Asian countries took a double hit early in the new year, reeling from the effects of the Indian Ocean tsunamis as well as the economic fallout from the end of the Multi-Fiber Agreement. The WRC advises that we write to our licensees to ask them use their influence to keep their factories in tsunami-affected areas running to help rebuild the local economies, even though they may be tempted to move production to China, where wages are lower (which is now allowed since MFA expired Dec. 31). No Sweat! and Purnima will draft such a letter, which the committee can vote on via e-mail.
4. Fair Trade Proposal: We have still not received feedback from the Kelley School of Business professor and from IU Legal Counsel regarding Continental Enterprises' fair trade proposal.
5. Gildan-El Progresso: We had sent letters to 7 licensees who use this factory to ask them to stop contracting with Gildan due to workers' rights violations. 5 licensees have responded affirmatively, but 2 have not yet replied due to the confusion generated when the FLA reinstated Gildan as an acceptable contractor. WRC has stricter rules than FLA, and Gildan has not met the WRC's requirements. Jenny said that she expects to get a positive response from the 2 last companies. We agreed that we should put a 30-day deadline on responses in the future.